GCU started in 2018 by a group of girls and young women from grassroot low income communities as an informal Girls Initiative that volunteered to mentor girls in schools and communities to speak out, defend and protect their rights and to challenge the negative socio-cultural norms perpetuating unequal gender power relations. During a girls Mentoring Camp in Bukedea District 5 girls, who had survived intersecting violence, agreed to formally register GCU into a local Non-governmental organization. It is now 5 years since GCU got fully registered as a community grounded Non-governmental Organization: certificate no: INDR0004543NB and Permit no. INDP0004543NB with Uganda NGO registration Bureau. We engage boys and men as strategy for gender inclusive programming and social norm change..
GCU Core values
Our Strategic Objectives:
OUR TARGET BENEFICIARIES
GCU primary target include adolescent girls (10-19 years) and young women (19-35 years) in and out of school (inclusive disabled, refugees, child mothers, commercial sex workers, those living in slums and child brides, HIV&AIDS affected and infected). The secondary target consist of boys and men, parents /guardians, education stakeholders, traditional, cultural and religious leaders, government policy decision makers and relevant ministries.
Our Summary achievements
Livelihood and Economic Empowerment:
Supported and trained 120 young women out of school Bukedea district and 135 Kaberamaido district with livelihood income generating activities, mentorship and village savings and loans associations the 4 community groups were formally registered with sub county, as a result 3 out of 4 groups from Bukedea district were successfully linked and benefited from government Jua Kali program through Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development
Gender-based violence prevention, Sexual Reproductive Health and HIV&AIDS prevention.
We trained and equipped a total of 60 most vulnerable adolescent girls and young women out of school with menstruation health knowledge and skills on sexual reproductive health. GCU supported 18 child mothers to access secondary school, who otherwise would have dropped out of school.
Mentorship, lifeskills, leadership and advocacy
We empowered 636 adolescents’ girls and young women out of school and 138 young men through mentor moments, life skills training, inspired by a group of young role models/women achievers. 160 girls of the above have been trained on leadership and advocacy skills.
Stakeholder engagement at district, sub county and community reached total of engagement of 316 (189M, 127F) in Bukedea and Kaberamaido districts on social norm change and girl’s rights protection and promotion.
WHY PARTNER WITH US
GCU is a platform to promote girls and young women’s education, economic empowerment, entrepreneurship and leadership
GCU LATEST NEWS
Girls Connect Uganda (GCU) with Bukedea District Local Government in partnership with USAID-PEPFAR Uganda Community grants launched a new project aimed at combating HIV & AIDS and its impact among Adolescent Girls and Young Women (AGYW).
The young women Village Savings Loans Association (VSLA) group members of Kachumbala Bukedea district, receive a savings box/safe..
Girls Connect Uganda (GCU) received support from Ministry of Gender LabOur and Social Development under the Jua Kali project, Green Jobs program whose aim is to boost productivity and profit margins of youth and young women enterprises. Above is a group of young women and men under GCU receiving a set of tailoring machines, Salon Equipment, Tents and chairs.
with a consultative meeting involving key district and Sub-county stakeholders. In an MOU with Kaberamaido District Local Government, we are partnering with communities to address barriers to school retention among adolescent girls in two sub-counties dominated by fishing communities.
Having completed life skills and mindset change training, Teenage mothers in Kwarkwar Sub-county, are ready to take responsibility for their future by engaging in income generating activities and weekly savings in their own micro-credit groups (Village and Saving Loan Associations). The girls are more hopeful and ready to improve their livelihood and that of their children.
WHAT OUR BENEFICIARIES SAY
After participating in GCU Mentorship and Life skills training sessions, we are now able to freely speak out about our HIV/AIDS status with our peers. we also encourage other fellow girls to go for HIV testing and treatment services during our guidance and counselling sessions..
We had lost hope in life after getting pregnant and being abandoned by the men who made us pregnant. With support from GCU, our hope is now restored and we are confident of achieving our dreams in life. Right now, we have village safe spaces where we meet weekly with other adolescent girls to share life experiences, encourage one another as well as to do weekly savings as a way of economically empowering ourselves..
Through our community Peer Champion Clubs, we have used drama to create awareness about the dangers of GBVs as well as using our life stories to inspire other adolescent girls. Many parents now appreciate that the girl child is as important as the boy child and all of them deserve to be supported. Adolescent girls and young women who experience violence are aware of where to report.